Many students from Burlingame High School’s math club will participate in the annual American Mathematics Competition (AMC) on Wednesday, Feb. 17. The competition is a great chance for students who are passionate about math to show off their skills in a stress-free environment, as it can have no negative impact on grades or college admissions. The club, led by math teacher Traci Kreppel and sophomores Diego Escobedo and Anais Macko, has already been preparing for the AMC for several weeks to optimize their performance in the competition itself.
“There are a lot of word problems, a lot of geometry-related problems, and a lot of number sequencing,” said Macko, who is vice president of the math club. “We’ve been practicing a lot and going over a lot of the problems we knew we missed last year.”
The test itself is 75 minutes long and will be administered in the library during second period on the Feb. 17. There are two different versions of the test for high school students. Freshmen and sophomores will take the AMC 10, which focuses on algebra and geometry, and juniors and seniors will take the AMC 12, which focuses on pre-calculus topics. Both consist of 25 multiple-choice questions of varying difficulties.
According to the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), which administers the test, “the main purpose of the AMC 10/12 is to spur interest in mathematics and to develop talent through the excitement of solving challenging problems.”
This year, several BHS students are taking advantage of this opportunity to pursue their passions for mathematics.
“We have a huge turnout for the ninth and tenth graders, almost 100 kids want to take it,” Kreppel said.
Kreppel also commented that as students get older, they realize how difficult the AMC is and will be more reluctant to take it, especially because students give up class time for the test. Only upperclassmen who truly enjoy math go on to take the AMC 12. As a result, under 40 upperclassmen will be taking the AMC this year.
Nevertheless, the AMC gives students a chance to both improve their math skills and show what they have learned. The test is pressure-free because it will not factor into students’ grades, and can even put students on the map for colleges.
“For kids that are really good at math, they can get on the radar of colleges,” Kreppel said. “They’re always looking at high scores for AMC, so there are potential math scholarships.”
So although the math club is working hard for the AMC and would like to perform well, it is the experience that is most important.
“It would be awesome if I did really well, but even if I don’t, it’s a fun test to see what you know,” Macko said
While the math department is no longer taking signups for the AMC this year, they encourage all students to participate, so it is definitely worth considering for next year.